Tom’s a lovely bloke and a great chef. When he took over the kitchen at Penny’s Hill cellar door in McLaren Vale, he gave me a call and we did a few small shoots to rebrand the new identity “The Kitchen Door”. Interestingly, the first thing he did was remove the door between the kitchen and the dining room.
This was a fun shoot for a restaurant. They wanted to look too cool so we got Kali Holmes, the amazing model in. It pays to work with professionals! (even though I ended up being payed a total of one gin martini for the shoot.)
My favourite shot is the first one below where I composited Kali in, one each side, in different vintage swimsuits, so it looks like twins.
Aaron the chef is now working around Asia and Dubai, and I hear the bartender is now in Sydney.
This red dress below was so expensive we weren’t allowed to drip the chicken nugget sauce anywhere near it, so I had to composite the dripping sauce in later.
Head Chef Brent Potuszynski thought he’d like to show an action shot of pouring the Vichyssoise into the dish. I think it looks great. It tasted even better! There’s a hint of truffle in the quenelle and I love the tiny garnish.
When I got the call to see if I was interested in shooting a small brochure for a wine company, I was pretty keen and in the end it turned into a pretty big shoot. The brochure tuned into a small book and we organised to shoot almost a full week at Joe Grilli’s house and then a day or so at his cellar door in McLaren Vale. Joe owns Primo Estate Wines.
This was a cookbook with a difference. The brief was all about family. Each shot had to have a family member in it somewhere because all of the recipes are old family recipes, passed down for generations. It gives the images a different feel having people in shot as well. Most of the close-up images of just food were quick grabs before we cleaned up and moved onto the next dish. Joe’s house is a beautiful open space building with great natural light, so we barely had to light anything, which gives the dishes a lovely warmth and natural homely look. Everything was cooked on site apart from a few slow-cook dishes and they were all cooked by family members. Occasionally Joe would say, “Let’s cook that dish next instead and we can have it for lunch.” Then we’d all sit outside in the sunshine, eat delicious food with liberal splashes of his olive oils and drink his Tuscan wines. It was fantastic! He’s a very interesting man to talk to and a delight to work with. He’d wander around the house chuckling to himself and he made such an impact on me and my own cooking style that I’m delighted every time I bump into him.
The book is still available via the Primo Estate cellar door and online www.primoestate.com.au/product/Primo-Style-Book
Below are some of my favourite photographs.
Gotta love the small bar scene in Adelaide.
Nook Nosh on Unley Road. (That’s my sister-in-law Lisa in the background.)